Private equity group joins takeover bid for Canada's BCE

Onex has joined a group bidding for BCE that already includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and US buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., an Associated Press report said.

'Onex is Canada's oldest and largest private equity firm and we are very pleased that they have joined our consortium,' CPP president and CEO officer David Denison was quoted by the Associated Press report as saying.

Denison added that the bidding group would still welcome the opportunity to add additional Canadian pension funds to the consortium, the report said.

The Associated Press report also quoted Onex managing director Andrew Sheiner as saying that Canada's largest private equity company has 'very strong relationships with every member of this consortium' and partnered with the CPP and the Caisse on prior investments.

BCE, which has a market value of about $32 billion Canadian dollars ($30 billion), initially rejected offers from private equity companies when they were first made in mid-February, but now Canada's largest telecommunications company has attracted three investor groups, the report said.